Ever wonder what the hospital experience is like from the perspective of an older patient? Experiences vary, but here’s a true story to reflect upon:
A 68 year-old white male hospitalized for 4 lumbar fusions was tethered with compression for DVT prophylaxis and pulse oximetry. He was supposed to be transfer and ambulation with a walker with supervision when hospitalized – immediate post op days 1-4. He was repeatedly chided by the nurses for asking to ambulate to the bathroom to urinate quite frequently. They told him to use the urinal on his bedside table like all the other patients.
What we know: Prior to surgery and hospitalization, this man was fully ambulatory with no cognitive impairment. He could have walked to the bathroom with the walker and one-person assist, as indicated in the post-op instructions.
How do you think he must have felt, being told to use the bedside urinal instead of getting out of bed? He is more comfortable using the toilet and knows that getting out of bed and moving will be beneficial for him, but is being repeatedly discouraged from doing so by staff. What would you have done differently with this person?